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Mineral rich India lags behind China

Despite having rich metal and mineral resource, India lags behind other countries like China, Australia, South Africa and Brazil which have developed on the basis of minerals.

Addressing the Conference on Mining, Metals and Environment coinciding with the Biz Bridge 2011, Mr HM Nerurkar co chairman of CII Manufacturing Council & Chairman, Mining & Metals Subcommittee, CII Eastern Region and Managing Director of TATA Steel, very specifically pointed out the challenges and deterrents in the path of mining and metals industry of the country.

Despite having rich metal and mineral resource, M Nerurkar said that India lags behind other countries like China, Australia, South Africa and Brazil which have developed on the basis of minerals.

He said that the GDP contribution by the mining industry has gone down noticeably. He specified lack of comprehensive regulatory policies, poor infrastructure, insufficient skilled manpower and unavailability of concrete data as the key hindrances in the path of growth of this sector.

He added that "Good policies need to be charted out and applied reasonably for this sector to benefit, robust infrastructure needs to be developed and young, energetic, knowledgeable people must be attracted to work in this sector.”

Government authorities and the related agencies like GSI etc need to work toward exploration of the resources to the fullest. He suggested that the industry should aim at 10% GDP contribution in the coming years.

Mr Shakeel Ahmed CMD of Hindustan Copper Ltd expressed his concern over the slow pace of growth of the mining and minerals sector attributing to only about 2.25% of GDP growth.

Talking of the weaknesses in this field he firstly referred to India as an under explored country with ample resources yet to be explored. Strong regulatory regime is to be set up as the existing ones are not that helpful.

Another important challenge that he pointed out was the unruly time and indecision regarding the mining lease. Mr Ahmed urged CII to act in concern to expedite the process.

Moreover, he said the ruling state government must sincerely put an effort to utilize the royalty received from the mines solely for the development of the region.

According to Mr Ahmed, environment must not act as an obstacle in the path of establishing new mines. An effective way to balance the two fields is to plant more trees than the ones felled.

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